Facebook buys WhatsApp messaging service

WhatsApp, the popular cross platform messaging app, has been acquired by Facebook for an astonishing $16 billion, as the world's biggest social network continues to overhaul its mobile messaging experience.

The SEC filing reveals that the purchase will be split between cash and stock, at $4 billion and $12 billion respectively. This is equivalent to sixteen Instagrams, two Nokias or seven Motorolas.

The future of the 450 million user strong WhatsApp service hangs in some doubt as Facebook will likely tweak the app for their own liking, however in a press release, they assured that the WhatsApp brand will remain intact, with Facebook Messenger continuing to operate separately.

70% of WhatsApp's users are active every day, and the volume of users approaches that of global SMS, suggesting that this move may be highly profitable for the site, especially if they integrate their advertising network.

Facebook turned 10 years old earlier this month, and currently has over 1.2 billion users of their own, many of which use Facebook Messenger, a recently redesigned messaging app which has previously been seen as a direct competitor to WhatsApp. They also recently released Paper for iPhone in the US, a news reader based upon their website, and a possible future replacement for their existing mobile apps.

Source: Facebook, SEC | Image: Mashable

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it says in the article: The SEC filing reveals that the purchase will be split between cash and stock, at $4 billion and $12 billion respectively.

A lot of people are thinking this is a bad move by the developers in selling out to the cash rich FB. But to be honest, they could have easily said no to $1m, or even $10m. But ultimately, everyone has a price, and to be fair, if I was offered $16B for a product I'd created, I'd hand that #### over lock stock n barrel, and would happily kick back and watch all the users get up in arms about it while I'm sat on a tropical island with not a care in the world for the rest of my days.

a lot of users in India are already moving from Whatsapp to Telegram. IMHO, this acquisition should have happened in 2012/2013.

Smart move by FB, they now have everyone's mobile number.

What ppl don't seem to realize is that FB is getting richer by info WE WILLING give them. They know what we look like, who our friends are, our likes/dislikes, etc, and we WILLING give it to them.....

I use BBM/ Skype and Gtalk. I wanted to use WhatsApp but I didn;t like the idea of giving my phone number away and having my IM messages integrated with my text messages. Right now, my phone number remains my own to who I know I give it to, my text messages remain separate and I know when someone text's me, its usually because they are outside. Lastly, if someone IM's me, than they are likely indoors. I can imagine this all sounds quite mundane, but I never liked the idea of having everything integrated. I am saddened WhatsApp is being brought by facebook because that leaves the door closed in terms of less competition.

An instant messaging service for mobile phones where you register your account with your phone number. So every phone number gets one account. It allows you to share pictures, sound and video. The subscription is a dollar and a half or two per year (something like that).

No I also think for a company that cannot justify that on current turnover and would really need to increase turnover 16 fold to get to the traditional valuation it is pure madness.

It would interesting to see what the breakdown of the WhatsApp company is and how they have a $16 BILLION dollar valuation..

statm1 said,
It would interesting to see what the breakdown of the WhatsApp company is and how they have a $16 BILLION dollar valuation..

Size of user base and potential revenue derived from said user base.

So when's this generations tech bubble going to finally pop? These "app" purchases are getting more and more extreme by the month.

I just want a desktop app. I do not care if I have to pay for it. Maybe facebook saw whatsapp as a quick profit. All they have to do is offer a desktop app for the windows 8 store and the osx app store and make a quick profit. Sell it for like $1.99

The thing about Facebook, is you only become friends with people you know, unlike Twitter. Therefore surely you shouldn't notice the immature kids?

NathanLiu said,
The thing about Facebook, is you only become friends with people you know, unlike Twitter. Therefore surely you shouldn't notice the immature kids?

As someone once put it : "Facebook is for people you actually went to school with. Twitter is for people you wish you went to school with" Might not apply in every situation, but I think it's close o the truth.

Sszecret said,

As someone once put it : "Facebook is for people you actually went to school with. Twitter is for people you wish you went to school with" Might not apply in every situation, but I think it's close o the truth.

And Google+ is for people you thank God every day you never went to school with.

x-scratch said,
facebook sucks. way to many immature kids & people always hitting the like buton

Stop befriending immature kids? I think your issue may extend beyond Facebook.

its time to go back to ICQ and BBM?

oh well we all using fb messenger and whatsapp so its not that anything changed, hopefully i keep getting exteded the trial period.

Very impressive for a company that was founded in 2009 and had as little as 30 employees in 2012. I think that number is close to 50 now, but damn. According to their blog, nothing will change. Everything will be business as usual from a user's perspective and I'm glad that is the case. I use WhatsApp daily and I've been using it since 2010.

Carbon Fiber said,
80 employees, 500 million/employee.
Only the owners and part owners get money according to their share. Also most of the employees are staying on board.

Well played WhatsApp! WhatsApp is in no way different from any of its clones and predecessors. It just happened to be the one many people used and thus all their friends also started using it. WhatApp knows they will be replaced the moment they try to charge more or make it paid in areas where its still free.

But now thats facebook's problem. Meanwhile the owners of WhatsApp will have sold some of their Facebook shares and will be living the good life. All thanks to a stupid chat app that was free and without ads for a time. Enough time to make it popular enough to be sold for 16 billion...

If Facebook add some way to Whatsapp message from the web, or desktop that would be great. That's my only real complaint with Whatsapp, would be handy when at work or at home on the PC.

Why? What have they done to make you hate them? Buying WhatsApp doesn't count because it'll be business as usual.

WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you're using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.

http://blog.whatsapp.com/index.php/2014/02/facebook/

Steven P. said,
Considering they are saying that they are keeping the brand of WhatsApp, I'll wait before I "bail" out of this free service

It's not free unless you purchased it in the early days on iPhone i don't believe. Either way at 69p a year it might as well be. I've paid £1.38 over the last three years and sent 100's of photos / videos on it. To do that as an MMS would have cost me 30p a message! (despite having unlimited data...)

When I was on iPhone I got it for free, also when I had a temporary Android and now on Windows Phone it was still free I haven't had to pay for it anyway.

Except I dread to think what kind of advertising Facebook will include. They'll probably down it them so people decide to use the ad-free Facebook Messenger app instead.

I was just lucky I guess because WhatsApp was a paid app, then free for months and then a paid app again on Android and iOS, I installed it on WP8 in Nov or Dec 2012 and it was free at the time there too.

I've got Whatsapp for well over 1 year now on WP8 and it hasnt bugged me yet. Don't know anyone who ever paid for it on android and everyone has it (including many non-rooted phones)

Steven P. said,
When I was on iPhone I got it for free, also when I had a temporary Android and now on Windows Phone it was still free I haven't had to pay for it anyway.
So do I. I haven't had to pay a cent in years, well, like never.

akav0id said,
It is totally free if you don't pay, as they keep extending your free trial "as a courtesy"

That went on for about 6 months for me, then i finally had to pay lol. Either way at 69p a year i'm not going to moan about it, free or paid, at that price its a good deal.

Yeah, first thought "16 Billion!!!"
Second thought, "how the F do FB have that kind of money".
Third thought "well done WhatsApp, smart business model, it's not about making money, WhatsApp is almost free, it's about getting users and suckering a big business into paying a fortune for you and then retiring".
Still not sure how FB make any money, no idea how they can afford this and less idea how they can make money from this. I guess it's all advertising. I hate advertising.

Yeah, how does fbook have that!? Its broken down into 4 billion cash, 12 billion in stocks I guess. And since candy crush made almost 2 billion last year... Man... I am in the wrong field .

It'll be business as usual so I doubt that would happen.

WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you're using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.

http://blog.whatsapp.com/index.php/2014/02/facebook/

At least for now . In a year or two I would be surprised if facebook doesnt make a big grab. Either information, ads, integration, etc, etc.

JJ_ said,
I hope Facebook don't ruin Whatsapp in its current form

Their interest is to keep the user base and that means keeping it mostly the same. If they were to make it more Facebook-like and integrated it would lose its appeal. Zuck seems interested primarily in growing the user bases and I think he sees that lots of users have core issues with Facebook. Lots of news about 'teenage Facebook usage plummeting but Instagram teenage user base surges.' There is good reason for Facebook to own Instagram and WhatsApp as their own deals, and that is to retain the user base that is uninterested in Facebook (as a service).

Anyone who purchased WhatsApp on iOS prior to July 2013 will have a Lifetime Free Susbscription as they paid £0.69 for it in the AppStore. I actually got it before that on a free offer, so I got it totally free!

free for everyone as long as you sell them your soul, I mean, as long as you link your Facebook profile to the whatsapp account.
No Facebook account? no whatsapp for you.

TheShark said,
Was actually thinking a couple of days ago that Microsoft should buy WhatApp, so not a total shock to me.

Maybe Microsoft will just buy Facebook at some point and be done with it, they already own a large part of FB anway lol

Ely said,

Maybe Microsoft will just buy Facebook at some point and be done with it, they already own a large part of FB anway lol

Microsoft has 1.3% of facebook after dilutions. Paid 286 million for it. Facebooks market cap is 174 billion dollars. That means to buy them after paying a premium for the shares it would cost about 200 billion dollars.. Which is about 2/3rds of what Microsoft is worth.. so no it would not work

Ely said,

Maybe Microsoft will just buy Facebook at some point and be done with it, they already own a large part of FB anway lol

1.6% is a large part?

It gives Facebook all the information of who talks to whom, how often, and based on this make you even more friend suggestions and advertising on Facebook.

a Whopping 16B, pity VIber they got sold cheap.

And if you delete account and start using some thing some will buy that too, so don't worry alot.

My first thoughts exactly. Time to say goodbye and move back to good old Viber. Whatever Zuckenberg is selling, I ain't buying.

TAKEITBILL said,
a Whopping 16B, pity VIber they got sold cheap.

And if you delete account and start using some thing some will buy that too, so don't worry alot.


I pick Viber over whatsapp every single time. mark zuckerberg might have been smoking something. 16B for whatsapp Vs. 900M for Viber. crazy...